Many of our beloved Museum’s, which have been closed for several months due to COVID-19, have risen to difficult challenges with free online viewing rooms, artist talks, workshops and educational experiences. The New York Historical Society will open its rear courtyard this summer to a COVID-19-related installation entitled, Hope Wanted: New York City Under Quarantine.
Curated by poet and journalist Kevin Powell and photographer Kay Hickman, Hope Wanted: New York City Under Quarantine features more than 50 photographs taken by Hickman along with 14 audio interviews with the photographs’ subjects conducted by Powell during the team’s intensive two-day odyssey across the city on April 8–9, 2020; the audio will be accessible to visitors through their cell phones. Hickman’s empathetic photographs of people and their neighborhoods in all five boroughs and Powell’s searching interviews of New Yorkers impacted by the crisis capture both tragedy and remarkable resilience at a moment in time during the pandemic. The installation documents the experiences of New Yorkers across the five boroughs during the height of the pandemic.
“We are eager to welcome visitors back to the New York Historical Society,” said Dr. Louise Mirren, president and CEO of the New York Historical Society. “While so much has changed over the past several months, our mission of ‘Making History Matter’ remains vital, now more than ever before.”
The New York Historical Society announced that it plans to reopen in stages starting with Hope Wanted: New York City Under Quarantine on view from August 14 through November 29, 2020 in the rear courtyard, located at West 76th Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue, providing an open-air environment for visitors to view the exhibition and contemplate the impact of COVID-19 on New York City. Admission is free; access will be limited and face coverings will be required for entry, with social distancing enforced through timed-entry tickets and on-site safety measures.
The exhibition also includes a quiet seating area, surrounded by plantings and conducive to reflection, where visitors can record their own experiences of the pandemic in an open-sided story booth. These oral histories will be archived by New-York Historical.
Major support for this exhibition provided by the Ford Foundation. Exhibitions at New-York Historical are made possible by Dr. Agnes Hsu-Tang and Oscar Tang, the Saunders Trust for American History, the Seymour Neuman Endowed Fund, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. WNET is the media sponsor.
The exhibition text and audio will be offered in both English and Spanish.
The New York Historical Society hopes to reopen indoors, with safety protocols in place for visitors and staff, on September 11, 2020.